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revised June 03, 2011

Arrow BulletRoutine Practices

What Does Routine Practices Mean?

  • Routine Practices are activities that you do to help reduce your risk of being exposed to blood, body fluids and non-intact (broken) skin of other people. By following Routine Practices you help protect yourself and others from organisms and diseases that can be spread from person to person.
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What are Routine Practices?

  • Whenever you may be exposed to someone else’s blood, body fluids or broken skin you should use protective barriers to reduce your risk. The type of barrier you use will depend on the type of contact you have with the person.
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What are These Barriers?

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Hand Hygiene

  • Hand washing is a simple but effective way to prevent infections. Hands should be washed any time you have contact with another person’s blood, body fluids or broken skin.
  • It’s easy to wash your hands. You can use soap and water and rub all surfaces of your hands vigorously for 10-15 seconds, or if your hands don’t have visible dirt on them, you can use an alcohol-based hand rub and rub it all over your hands for 15 seconds.

  • Educational materials on hand hygiene
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Face Protection

  • Face protection includes safety glasses and masks. Face protection is needed if you are doing an activity where there might be a splash of blood or body fluids to your face.
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  • Gloves should be worn if you will touch someone else’s blood, body fluids or broken skin. Gloves should be put on just before you touch the other person and removed as soon as you’re finished the activity. Be sure to wash your hands as soon as possible after you take your gloves off!
  • Gloves do not need to be worn to hold someone or touch intact skin unless there is visible blood.
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Safe Sharps Handling

  • Sharps (e.g. needles, razors, broken glass) can cause an infection if they have been contaminated with the blood of another person. If you are using a sharp always be sure to dispose of it safely in a puncture resistant container. If you find a sharp, never pick it up with your bare hands. Block off the area where the sharp is located and contact someone to dispose of the sharp safely.
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Environmental Cleaning

  • Whenever we have been exposed to blood or body fluids we wash our hands. It is just as important for us to clean surfaces that have been contaminated with blood or body fluids. To clean up after a blood or body fluid spill follow these steps:

    1. Put on a pair of household rubber gloves.
    2. Clean up the spill using paper towels, then wash the area with detergent and water.
    3. Wipe the surface with a fresh solution of bleach (50 ml bleach to 450 ml water or 1/4 cup bleach to 2-1/4 cups water)
    4. Leave the solution in contact with the surface for at least 10 minutes. This will kill any germs left on the surface.
    5. Dispose of used paper towels in the garbage bin, remove gloves and wash your hands.

    To clean environmental surfaces that have not been contaminated by blood or body fluid you can use any general cleaning product. It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s directions to make sure it is most effective.

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Protect yourself and others by always following these four steps to Routine Practices.:

  • Use protective barriers correctly
  • Dispose of contaminated articles safely
  • Clean contaminated surfaces
  • Remove barriers and wash hands

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Revised: June 03, 2011


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